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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Birmingham
Do any of you have experience of Five Ways and/or KES? What should I consider when weighing up which is the best option? Which would you choose and why?

They are both strong academically, with KES focusing on the IB in the 6th Form. My impression is that KES has a wide range of clubs and sporting activities. Five Ways is co-ed, aren't boys supposed to benefit from having girls around?

KES is closer to us and has great sports facilities, but is it worth the extra money? The more I think about it, the more conflicted and confused I become. Help please!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
We were in exactly the same situation 6 years ago - offer from KEFW and KES (inc a small scholarship)

We phoned up KEFW and arranged a special visit during the school day with my son - there were 2 other parents who did the same thing. Had a really good tour and they even arranged a meeting with the headmaster for my son.

We left it up to him but I think the tour and discussion with the head of year and headmaster helped make my son's mind up to go for KEFW. The meeting with the head was very good - we sat at the back of the room while he had a really good discussion with the children.

We have been really pleased with KEFW - excellent school - but equally KES is also very excellent as well.

You might want to think about the flexibility for the furture, KES only does IB in the 6th form whereas KEFW does both

Take you time and visit both again


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:34 pm
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poppit wrote:
Do any of you have experience of Five Ways and/or KES? What should I consider when weighing up which is the best option? Which would you choose and why?

They are both strong academically, with KES focusing on the IB in the 6th Form. My impression is that KES has a wide range of clubs and sporting activities. Five Ways is co-ed, aren't boys supposed to benefit from having girls around?

KES is closer to us and has great sports facilities, but is it worth the extra money? The more I think about it, the more conflicted and confused I become. Help please!


Hi, we are in same position. Both my twin boys have been offered first choice at KEFW and also offered APs at KES (one with scholarship).

We have had a tour of KEFW and chatted with Mr Wheeldon but still decision is tricky, mainly as they dont agree on same school.

Any pointers as to what factors are really important would be useful. We are drawing up a pros/cons list to help. KES is also closer to us (kids could walk or cycle) but perhaps a bus ride is good for them? My last bit of research is around the A level and IB question. I know KEFW does offer the choice but I would suggest if you know you want to do the IB then KES should be better in theory (teachers can focus on one programme and they need to get it right?). but perhaps KenR could shed some insight into this.

As to Co-Ed then my boys suggest presence of girls is a negative (but of course in a year or so they will change their minds :)

kids are on residential next week so some time to think.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 8:53 pm
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The boys at KES can meet up with the girls "next door" during break and lunch in a designated area known as winterbourne I think. My son has never been very interested, but has enjoyed mixing with the girls when taking part in drama productions, concerts etc.

My son catches the train, and this has offered some flexibility which he wouldn't have got with the green bus. He has taken part in after school activities, and caught a later train. This would have been unthinkable at 11, but they soon grow up and the area is busy and pretty safe with all the students around.

Congratulations to you both, we loved KES so much we accepted our sons AP there before the grammar results came out. He knows he is lucky to have the opportunity, and has worked hard and thrived there, it is a fantastic school!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:34 pm
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mommyjo wrote:
The boys at KES can meet up with the girls "next door" during break and lunch in a designated area known as winterbourne I think. My son has never been very interested, but has enjoyed mixing with the girls when taking part in drama productions, concerts etc.

My son catches the train, and this has offered some flexibility which he wouldn't have got with the green bus. He has taken part in after school activities, and caught a later train. This would have been unthinkable at 11, but they soon grow up and the area is busy and pretty safe with all the students around.

Congratulations to you both, we loved KES so much we accepted our sons AP there before the grammar results came out. He knows he is lucky to have the opportunity, and has worked hard and thrived there, it is a fantastic school!


I can see that both schools are excellent and it would be easier if both my sons agreed on same choice. KEFW and KES holidays are different and I reckon my preference was that they were at the same school.

One of my concerns about KES is how kids on AP are treated by other wealthier based kids.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Dudley, West Midlands
poppit wrote:
Do any of you have experience of Five Ways and/or KES? What should I consider when weighing up which is the best option? Which would you choose and why?

They are both strong academically, with KES focusing on the IB in the 6th Form. My impression is that KES has a wide range of clubs and sporting activities. Five Ways is co-ed, aren't boys supposed to benefit from having girls around?

KES is closer to us and has great sports facilities, but is it worth the extra money? The more I think about it, the more conflicted and confused I become. Help please!
A year old now but worth re-reading, I think
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19120
(PAGE 4 especialy :-)


Last edited by Dibble on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
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I would not go to a school where you had to do the IB. Have a read of the threads on "The student room", particularly the Oxbridge admissions ones where students bemoan the fact that admissions tutors give ridiculous offers for IB candidates compared to those for traditional Alevels.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Dudley, West Midlands
ginobellavia wrote:
One of my concerns about KES is how kids on AP are treated by other wealthier based kids.
I know what you mean but honestly, don’t worry about it. It’s the most ordinary Independent school you can imagine. Can’t guarantee very boy’s going to get on with every other, of course, but any such snobbery just isn’t KES.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:59 pm
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ginobellavia wrote:
One of my concerns about KES is how kids on AP are treated by other wealthier based kids.


There are so many children with some sort of financial assistance that no one is singled out at all. The general ethos is very inclusive and they take care to make sure everyone is getting on.

Of course you get one or two snobs, as you do anywhere, but they tend to be the ones that no one likes much anyway :D

I wouldn't assume that those in Grammar schools are from less wealthy backgrounds. From what I have seen, a significant number of children from the Indie preps take up Grammar places, even though they could afford an Indie secondary if they wanted. In fact, the family I know with the most expensive house (probably in excess of £2million) has a child in one of the Grammars.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Birmingham
Thanks for your responses, I have arranged for us to have a tour round Five Ways (thanks for the suggestion KenR), it will be good to see it on a normal school day, rather than an open day. I know KES is fantastic (and if money was no object it would be a no brainer) and because KES is so good at marketing itself I feel I know it better. I also know that FW is a fantastic grammar.

I am drawing up a list of differences and pros and cons, because at the moment it seems to be a battle of head v. heart. Are there any things that either FW or KES does poorly?


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